Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. The greatest risk of exposure is to infants, young children, pregnant women, and adults with kidney problems or high blood pressure.
Flush your pipes
When water has not been used for several hours, run the cold water faucet until the water get noticeably colder, and then for another minute (usually at least 3-5 minutes in all) before using for drinking or cooking. If water has not been stagnant for an extended period of time, you should still flush the cold water for at least 30 seconds before using for drinking or cooking.
For most of us, flushing tap water is a simple and inexpensive way to help protect our family's health. Flushing the pipes in your home usually uses less than 1-2 gallons of water and costs only a few cents per month. To conserve water, fill a couple of bottles with water after flushing the tap and, when possible, use the first flush water to wash dishes or water plants.
Use only cold water for cooking and drinking
Avoid drinking water or cooking with water taken from the hot water tap. Hot water can dissolve lead more quickly than cold water. If you need hot water for consumption, heat cold tap water on the stove.
Remove debris from faucet strainers/aerators regularly
Periodically remove loose lead solder and debris that may accumulate in your faucet strainers/aerators.
1. Remove the faucet strainers from all taps.
2. Flush faucet strainers.
3. Run the water for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Replace faucet strainers.
Use a point-of-use filter that is certified for lead removal
Not all filters remove lead. Look for filters that are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation for lead removal (NSF 53 or NSF 58). If you want more information about drinking water treatment devices, you can contact NSF at (800-NSF-8010) or visit their web site at www.nsf.com.
The two most common types of filters are faucet mounted and countertop (pitcher) filters. Faucet mounted filters only treat the water that flows from the faucet to which it is connected. Countertop (pitcher) filters are now widely available at most home-goods or department stores. Providence Water will be providing you with a countertop pitcher and a 6-month supply of NSF 53 certified filters prior to construction. We strongly urge use to use this filter for at least 6 months after construction is complete.
All filters require periodic replacement. It is important to follow the product usage and filter replacement instructions. Leaving a filter in for longer than its recommended life may cause levels of lead or other contaminants to increase because of accumulation in the filter. There is also a potential for bacterial contamination.
Replace internal plumbing that may contain lead
Potential sources of lead include lead pipes, lead-based solder, and brass fixtures and valves (including faucets).